For a couple of years now, I have been asking myself the question “how can I share my story?” And also, “why do I want/need to tell my story?” Maybe not my whole story, but aspects of it. Like most people, I find autobiography and storytelling to be a powerful medium. It is healing, didactic and inspiring, to name but a few things. Those that have gone before me, act as Polaris in some of life’s darker moments. When we engage in storytelling or read an autobiography we learn that we are not alone in what we call the “human condition.” More importantly though, we learn that it is perfectly okay to be human.
I flew back to Vancouver for the birth of my new niece. It would be my sister’s fifth baby and I was excited to be her doula.
I was home, but only for five days. My Dad picked me up from the airport. He commented that “I was looking older” (gee, thanks). After catching up over brunch, my Dad dropped me off at my sister’s house.
To be continued.
I am sitting in quiet contemplation on this bright winter morning. Much has happened since I last wrote here, the biggest event being, M is weaned. I have been trying to summarize our breastfeeding journey for a while now. But how does one sum up three years and one month worth of words? Where do I begin? Do I write about the years or the phases? The ups and downs, or the effort and the ease of it all? Instead of writing right now, I will continue to process what these three years have meant to me, and simply leave you with one word. Bittersweet.
*photo taken last summer when M was about two and a half years old.
A few months ago, I decided that I would start sharing more of my art work. Sketches, works in progress, good, bad, I am sharing it all. I am at a place in my life where I have many obligations. In order to fit art into my life-which more often than not it is in the form of sketching-it must be accessible. This is why I have decided to invest in a new sketch book, scraps of paper will no longer do! My sketching seems to serve different functions, much the same way writing does. Sometimes it acts as a quick note to someone, or expresses an emotion that am feeling. For example, the sketch below, was done on an envelope. I sent it in the form of a text, to a friend who has a fairly new baby (two months to be exact). I did this in order to show my
solidarity support, i.e. it looked like she was in for a long night.
When I really think about it though, there are always obligations, the scenery and people may have changed, but I still have to practice time management no matter what stage I am in my life. I think what is really happening though, is that I am both reclaiming my art practice as a mother, and becoming aware of the new way in which I practice art. Seeing it reflected back to me in the growing number of sketches, somehow solidifies that this is not merely an “in between” but rather a new way of practicing art.
Prior to motherhood, I always viewed my sketching/sketch book as a draft or an annex. Now though, I consider my sketches (within the scope of my practice) as complete. Some of these pieces may evolve, but most will stay as is. And even though I am not exactly sure where all these sketches are going, I am at least moving forward, one sketch at a time.
For those of you who are not on Instagram, here is one of the pieces that I had been working on. It is unfinished, in process, if you will. Before relocating for work, yet again, I found myself drawn to the quietude of sketching and painting. As the move drew closer, I put my paints away. Now, almost two months later, I finally feel like making art again.
The focus for the past two months has really been about finding our new daily rhythm for this family of two. At last, the unfamiliar is beginning to feel familiar. We have a grocery store that we can walk or jog to with a good natural selection. I have found some excellent health food stores, and Farmers Markets are in abundance here with plenty of fresh produce. We have a couple of parks that we often go to in the evenings, and a mother and toddler group that meets Tuesday mornings. Now that I feel more settled and can see that M is feeling more settled, I think I may be ready to start painting again!